The Genesis Printstyle Plus Plugin vs other Print Plugins
A little while ago, a client told me that he was looking for THE plugin that would allow people visiting his sight to make beautiful, clean, printouts of his posts. However, he didn’t want every single element on the screen to be printed out. So we started to hunt for THE plugin that would print out his posts the beautiful and CLEAN way.
First he told me to check out the WP Print plugin, so I did. It was alright, but didn’t seem to be able to get rid of all unwanted elements in the print out. One had to read the readme.txt file for the plugin in order to initialize it. The correct instructions seemed to only reside there. It took me a little while to figure that one out, but that actually made sense. That’s what a good readme.txt is all about! Providing you with the information you need to make the plugin work. The available instructions just didn’t seem very intuitive. Now that I look back, they weren’t all inclusive either. It’s possible with all the knowledge I accumulated learning about the Genesis Printstyle Plus Plugin, that I would be able to figure out how to make printing with the WP Print plugin prettier. Honestly though, I am liking the Genesis Printstyle Plus Plugin better. In addition, both he and I are using the Genesis Sample Theme, so it just makes sense to stick with it.
You have to do a little work to get the plugin to function the way you want it to. That means that everyone can set up their own personal preferences as to what they want printed out and what they don’t. I’m sure all of us have come across an article here and there that doesn’t print out everything we see on the screen. Well, that happens because the website owner has configured his/her printing styling to omit certain elements that appear on the screen. Sometimes elements also only appear in your browser’s print window, and not within the browser itself. I had that happen last night when I was testing out the Genesis Printstyle Plus Plugin. A couple of border lines showed up that didn’t appear in the browser window. I actually had to style them out!
First you have to make sure that you are using the Genesis Framework and one of its Child Themes on your website. It will not work if you are using another framework or theme. When you’re sure that the parent and active child theme are Genesis themes, install the Genesis Printstyle Plus Plugin into your WordPress website. You do this by clicking on the Plugins tab within the admin menu in your WordPress website’s admin area. It is located to the left on your screen.
Next you have to create either a print-additions.css or gpsp-print.css file and place it in your Child Theme‘s folder. According to David Decker, the developer of the plugin,
(1) Add a print stylesheet file
print-additions.cssto your active child theme’s root folder and you’re done. It will be automatically enqueued after the packaged plugin styles so you are able to override them.
(2) To not use the packaged plugin stylesheet at all just add your full own custom print stylesheet
gpsp-print.cssto your active child theme’s root folder and you’re done. This will be properly enqueued then and NOT the plugin file. – Genesis Printstyle Plus Plugin FAQs on WordPress.org
I found that the print-additions.css route worked well for me, but everyone’s preference will differ. David has provided great starter CSS on Github that I have also used as a starting point, and then built upon from there. To view David’s gists and other valuable Genesis Printstyle Plus information on Github, please click here.
Your journey to a prettier printout of your posts doesn’t stop here, however. You also have to take into consideration options available to you in the browser’s print window as well. Getting to know your browser’s printing options is important in “putting the icing on the cake” regarding your “pretty post printouts”.
For the purpose of this post, I examined the printing options in FireFox and Chrome. The steps should be similar in all browser print windows. I did this on the local install of this website. I haven’t installed the plugin here yet, but I know that the code I would use here right now might differ slightly from the code I had to create in the local environment. Why? Because I updated to Genesis (Framework) 2.2.0-beta there, and am still using Genesis (Framework) 2.1.2 here. So remember: each website owner will have their own styling preferences, but each website will potentially have its own “custom” issues to address when creating CSS code to achieve the desired print styling results.
Printing a Post with Google Chrome
I’m not including shots of my printout experience in FireFox because the options are very similar if not the same. Besides, you should test it out for yourself! That’s part of the fun of WordPress. Learning to take control of your website much more quickly than if you were dealing with a static one!
Genesis Printstyle Plus Plugin on GitHub: (David)DeckerWeb
Stop Printing Ugly WordPress Pages With This Easy Fix: Christian Nelson, November 14, 2014, WPMUDEV in WordPress Tutorials